In Defense of Selfies

“People regularly see themselves as more attractive and talented than others see them,” begins this brief article on Scientific American.

The quick version of this post: Who cares what these “others” think?

And now enjoy this musical interlude: “Who do you think you are, a superstar? Well, right you are!”

Still here? The longer version:

Obviously I’d dispute that claim, but I didn’t do a study on it, so what do I know?

But it immediately made me wonder: What, then, is the point of all those inspirational, motivational, see-yourself-as-a-lion-when-you’re-just-a-cat-memes—and of course, therapy and self-help books and such that have been around before and since—if we’re not supposed to believe in ourselves?

And why is it so bad if we help ourselves believe in ourselves through our own personal mirrors?



So which are we supposed to believe? This study’s edict that we aren’t all that, or the belief that yes, we are?

That was Part One of my rant. Here’s Part Two:

“For this study, published online in April in Social Psychological and Personality Science, college students were asked to take a selfie in the laboratory, and a researcher took a nearly identical picture of them. Then the students and a group of online participants of all ages rated the images.”

As you can imagine from the set-up, dire results occurred. Read that as: Selfies bad! Other people telling you how you look, good!

What stinks is rating people in the first place. That has never made sense to me. Why do we have to? What good does it do to think—or be told, because let’s face it, People’s Top 50 Whatevers is all about telling us what we should find attractive—that Person X is somehow more than Person Y?

And can you ever truly compare two (or more) disparate human beings? I don’t care if they’re identical twins, unless there’s some kind of problem, we all have our own personal brains and do our own things.

Our own, unique, only-us quirks.

Now if you want to be swayed by a Top 50 anything, you do you. Watch out for people trying to sell you on something, though.

And if you want to hate selfies, why not?

My bottom line: You like selfies? Keep taking them! Take control. Find your angles. Find your lighting. Put up things that make you feel good because we all could use a lot more of that.

And keep building your self-esteem and confidence.


If you just started selfie-ing, here’s a great guide on how to capture your best self.



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